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is The Graduate stupid?


NipkowDisc
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two questions about this stupid overrated film. 

why would Mrs. Robinson be agreeable to her daughter marrying the young man she has been having sex with? seems to me she would really have to be sick to want that.

why would Elaine want to marry the guy who has been having sex with her mother? how sick is that?

The Graduate (1967) - IMDb

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21 minutes ago, NipkowDisc said:

two questions about this stupid overrated film. 

why would Mrs. Robinson be agreeable to her daughter marrying the young man she has been having sex with? seems to me she would really have to be sick to want that.

why would Elaine want to marry the guy who has been having sex with her mother? how sick is that?

The Graduate (1967) - IMDb

Not stupid, but I think it's only  a fair movie.  (Ducks down).  The movie probably resonates better with people of that generation.  I was nearly 4 when it came out, and the mood of the world was decidedly different by the time I graduated college.  The mid-80s graduates by and large didn't have that angst of a late 60s grad, where  young people of that era wanted to "check out" from the world given to them.   For most kids of my era, college was a means to an end: a career.  So I never got it.  I can understand it (my brothers were in HS and college in the late 60s and they were a bit aimless, even into their 30s), but I probably don't experience it the same way someone older would.  I think more recent reviewers hold it in less esteem than contemporary reviewers.

Unless I missed something, I don't think Mrs. Robinson wanted Benjamin to marry Elaine.  [SPOILER] She was quite angry at the church when he broke in.

[SPOILER] And I think Elaine didn't want to marry him either, but she didn't want to marry the guy standing at the altar either, and chose Benjamin as an escape.  I always interpreted the look on their faces on the bus as essentially "WTH did we just do?"  I never thought they were going to even see each other after that, much less marry.

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55 minutes ago, NipkowDisc said:

two questions about this stupid overrated film. 

why would Mrs. Robinson be agreeable to her daughter marrying the young man she has been having sex with? seems to me she would really have to be sick to want that.

why would Elaine want to marry the guy who has been having sex with her mother? how sick is that?

 

 

20 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

Unless I missed something, I don't think Mrs. Robinson wanted Benjamin to marry Elaine.  [SPOILER] She was quite angry at the church when he broke in.

EXACTLY here, Tex!!!

AND, exactly why Nip's original premise of his thread here pretty much shows he must've been watching this flick while he was involved in some other endeavor and so wasn't following what actually happened in it.

(...and Tex, I must admit here that for years I, who am the same age of your older siblings, didn't get why this movie was so highly thought of either, but that seemed to all change about 5 or 6 years ago and after I decided to give it another chance when TCM was showing it at that time...it was during that viewing of it that I suddenly discovered why it's thought of so highly...or in other words you might say it "clicked" for me and found myself being greatly entertained by this film)

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Having sex with the mother of the girl he married would be just the beginning of Benjamin's sad decline.

Just a few years later he would be a pitiful figure limping on the streets of New York City.

Midnight Cowboy: Hey! Im Walkin' Here… | BeFront Magazine

"Hey, I'm walking here. I'M WALKING HERE!!!"

 

 

If it makes you feel any better, though, Nip, he'd pick up with a guy who was a  real John Wayne fan. He even dressed like a cowboy. (Best not to know what that dude did at the movies, though. The Duke might not have approved).

10 Awesome Things You Should Know About John Wayne - Listverse

"He did WHAT!?! while watching True Grit?"

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43 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

Hey, NIPKOW, why don't you read the story about the personal life of actor ROD CAMERON.  You might find it interesting. 

Interesting, Mr. G. Didn't know Cameron married his mother-in-law until your prompting here.

Btw and speaking of Rod Cameron, ever notice he had a near doppelganger in another C-list actor? Don Megowan here...

Don%20Megowan%202.JPG

(...and yes, I'm pretty sure I put these two in the "Lookalikes" thread years ago)

 

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1 hour ago, NipkowDisc said:

two questions about this stupid overrated film. 

why would Mrs. Robinson be agreeable to her daughter marrying the young man she has been having sex with? seems to me she would really have to be sick to want that.

why would Elaine want to marry the guy who has been having sex with her mother? how sick is that?

The Graduate (1967) - IMDb

Your post seems sort of half baked.

Mrs Robinson was not agreeable to Elaine marrying Ben. That was the conflict at the heart of the story.

Elaine was conflicted about it, but eventually decided she was in love with Ben in spite of the past. Smart woman. Foolish choice. Tell me you've never seen that? 

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17 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Having sex with the mother of the girl he married would be just the beginning of Benjamin's sad decline.

Just a few years later he would be a pitiful figure limping on the streets of New York City.

Midnight Cowboy: Hey! Im Walkin' Here… | BeFront Magazine

"Hey, I'm walking here. I'M WALKING HERE!!!"

 

 

If it makes you feel any better, though, Nip, he'd pick up with a guy who was a  real John Wayne fan. He even dressed like a cowboy. (Best not to know what that dude did at the movies, though. The Duke might not have approved).

10 Awesome Things You Should Know About John Wayne - Listverse

"He did WHAT!?! while watching True Grit?"

And not only that here Tom, but THEN while in NYC, he visited the absolutely WORST dentist that one could find there...

marathon%2Bman%2Bdentist%2Bworking%2Bon%

(...some guys will always make bad choices it seems)

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2 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

is The Graduate stupid?

Yes.  Next question.

Well actually here slayton, I've noticed that MOST graduates are! Stupid that is.

(...and until they get a few years of real experience under their belts)

;)

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2 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

why would Mrs. Robinson be agreeable to her daughter marrying the young man she has been having sex with?

She isn't.  She's marrying someone else when Elaine runs away with Benjamin.  

I was 6 the year this film came out.  In the 70s, the film would be broadcast and I admit that the sequence where Mrs. Robinson seduces Benjamin was erotic... when you're 13... I agree with other remarks that imply the film is dated.  That means only it reflects the zeitgeist of the 60s. 

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1 hour ago, txfilmfan said:

Not stupid, but I think it's only  a fair movie.  (Ducks down).  The movie probably resonates better with people of that generation.  I was nearly 4 when it came out, and the mood of the world was decidedly different by the time I graduated college.  The mid-80s graduates by and large didn't have that angst of a late 60s grad, where  young people of that era wanted to "check out" from the world given to them.   For most kids of my era, college was a means to an end: a career.  So I never got it.  I can understand it (my brothers were in HS and college in the late 60s and they were a bit aimless, even into their 30s), but I probably don't experience it the same way someone older would.  I think more recent reviewers hold it in less esteem than contemporary reviewers.

I believe you are right. The Graduate is a very well-made movie, which helped people believe that it was a very good movie. It did capture the feeling of aimlessness and alienation common at the time. Dustin Hoffman was a fresh new star, Katharine Ross was the kind of girl most of the guys would like to date, and some of the guys wouldn't say no to a fling with the attractive Anne Bancroft, who had won an Oscar but became a real movie star with this picture. The decision to use Simon & Garfunkel songs was a huge boost to the film. Mother and daughter in love with the same guy is a long-time staple of soap opera.

When Mrs. Robinson asks Benjamin if this is his first time, and he replies, "Mrs. Robinson!," I've always thought it was funnier if you assume that this is not his first time.

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8 minutes ago, King Rat said:

Mother and daughter in love with the same guy is a long-time staple of soap opera.

You see Mrs. Robinson as in love with Ben? And is that really a staple?

John Updike wrote about a mother and daughter who had a sexual rivalry, but I haven't seen many stories where a mother and daughter are involved with the same man. Can't imagine it's a very interesting plot setup for most women. 

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11 minutes ago, King Rat said:

Mother and daughter in love with the same guy is a long-time staple of soap opera.

Mrs. Robinson was not, definitely not, in love with Benjamin.  She was not in love with anybody.  Not even herself.  Her character was a symbol of the emptiness of bourgeois life, and the despair that comes along with it (you almost--almost--feel sorry for her).  An emptiness Ben strives against, without knowing it.  And which he and Elaine prevail against at the end.  Or seem to, until it is revealed in the last shot that they are just as much members of the class as the ones they fought.  Or at least Ben is, as it seems he pursued Elaine more to get back at Mrs. Robinson (mom) than to get Elaine. 

Pretty nihilistic.  Nobody's the good guy.  So what's the moral?  Maybe there isn't one, in keeping with the theme of the movie.  Or maybe it asks the question:  what are rebels rebelling against?  Or are they really rebelling?  Maybe they are really just fighting for status in the system they are rebelling against, using rebellion as cover. 

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3 hours ago, slaytonf said:

Mrs. Robinson was not, definitely not, in love with Benjamin.  She was not in love with anybody.  Not even herself.  Her character was a symbol of the emptiness of bourgeois life, and the despair that comes along with it (you almost--almost--feel sorry for her).  An emptiness Ben strives against, without knowing it.  And which he and Elaine prevail against at the end.  Or seem to, until it is revealed in the last shot that they are just as much members of the class as the ones they fought.  Or at least Ben is, as it seems he pursued Elaine more to get back at Mrs. Robinson (mom) than to get Elaine. 

Pretty nihilistic.  Nobody's the good guy.  So what's the moral?  Maybe there isn't one, in keeping with the theme of the movie.  Or maybe it asks the question:  what are rebels rebelling against?  Or are they really rebelling?  Maybe they are really just fighting for status in the system they are rebelling against, using rebellion as cover. 

Wow slayton! VERY well said here. And I'll now also add that I disagree with those here who have called this film "dated" and seem to what to consign it to some idea of a "'60s zeitgeist" sort of thing.

Nope, ya see, with the classic definition of a  "comedy of manners" here being as follows...

In English literature, the term comedy of manners (also anti-sentimental comedy) describes a genre of realistic, satirical comedy of the Restoration period (1660–1710) that questions and comments upon the manners and social conventions of a greatly sophisticated, artificial society.[1] The satire of fashion, manners, and outlook on life of the social classes, is realised with stock characters, such as the braggart soldier of Ancient Greek comedy, and the fop and the rake of English Restoration comedy.[2] The clever plot of a comedy of manners (usually a scandal) is secondary to the social commentary thematically presented through the witty dialogue of the characters, e.g. The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), by Oscar Wilde, which satirises the sexual hypocrisies of Victorian morality.

...this film IS exactly THAT, and/or/but is just placed within the period of late-1960s America and instead of any earlier periods in human history or locations.

(...bottom line here being that to call THIS film "dated" and so in essence to suggest that it doesn't have any relevance to how society and individuals might and do conduct themselves today, would be akin to suggesting that all of the "comedy of manners" that authors and playwrights such as, for instance, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward wrote are "dated" to the extent that they no longer are "relevant", couldn't one say?!...and I think we all know that THAT wouldn't or couldn't be any sort of accurate statement, as to this very day, plays and films written by these very authors and playwrights are still being produced, and I doubt they would be IF the themes contained within them were not timeless)

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Slayton and Dargo, I think you two are very much onto something here.  I was only about 10 when this came out but remember seeing it in the theater on its second or third time around -- early 70's, I'm guessing.  It's always been one of my favorite movies and only watch when the mood is particularly right to turn it on.  

Actually, I don't ever think I "identified" with Benjamin -- not his character or actions.  To me it is simply a movie of the mid-60's that tackles the "Zeitgeist" at hand; if you want to call it alienation, that's fine.  All the characters are set on paths to live out their lives according to certain expectations.  The Braddocks holding on pretty well overall, while the Robinsons can only muster up a shell of a public appearance in their marriage and family.  

Funny, that this approach to an artistic interpretation of contemporary life doesn't altogether require Southern California in 1967, but it just is that this particular story is set at that place and time.  "The Last Picture Show" tackles these things as well only uses a completely different backdrop.

So in the end, "The Graduate" works for me because it is put together well -- and has some very funny lines, to boot.  I had a friend in graduate school once tell me that the difference between the two of us was that my favorite 60's movie was "The Graduate" and his was "Midnight Cowboy."   

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Dargo, you've hit it.  The movie's popularity came not only from its themes of alienation and rebellion, current in the day, but also from resonating with a form in drama that goes back all the way to its origins.  Perhaps the claims of the movie being dated come from the parts that don't work well, rather than from it no longer being relevant.  Hard to imagine, I know, in a movie with so much that is brilliant.  Like the business with Ben's embarrassment getting the hotel room for his first night with Mrs. Robinson.  Maybe it was an attempt to work in a little more comedy playing on his naiveté. But it comes off as tedious and conventional, in a movie that gains it's interest through its unconventionality.

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32 minutes ago, brianNH said:

Actually, I don't ever think I "identified" with Benjamin -- not his character or actions.  To me it is simply a movie of the mid-60's that tackles the "Zeitgeist" at hand; if you want to call it alienation, that's fine.  All the characters are set on paths to live out their lives according to certain expectations.  The Braddocks holding on pretty well overall, while the Robinsons can only muster up a shell of a public appearance in their marriage and family.  

It probably worked better as a book, but early Dustin Hoffman plays the zeitgeist-confused Benjy, alienated from his generation and seeing the hypocrisy around him, as a mumbling brain-dead spud, which requires a lot of suspension of disbelief that Mrs. Robinson would have the hots for him, even as borgeouis forbidden-fruit.  Instead of being symbol of the over-30's problems, she just comes off as a complete lunatic, hence Nip's cheap low-hanging-gag confusion.

It's the problem I have with a LOT of Mike Nichols and Buck Henry, back when late-60's counterculture first discovered "satire" but had too many axes to grind to make it subtle or funny.  (I still want to throw things at the "Help the bombardier!" scene from Catch-22.)  Not everyone considers this the seminal life-changing film of their youth.

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I had heard about THE GRADUATE as being a great movie when it came out but didn't see it until my 30s on TCM I believe. I was absolutely shocked by Mrs Robinson's actions, then intrigued by how the story would pan out. I thought it was a well made movie, well written, edited, acted, photographed with a decent fast paced, flowing story. A decent movie.

It just doesn't hold up well to multiple, contemporary viewings for me. I care less & less about the charactors in subsequent viewings, mostly because they've made stupid decisions. And while I love Art Garfunkel, the soundtrack is a distraction-it's too loud & pronounced.

For a long time on another group my nick-name was "Mrs Robinson" because I'm a decade older than MrTiki (we look the same age, right?) And let's not forget Gloria Grahame who married her step son-obviously Tony Ray didn't care she had slept with his Father Nick Ray.

3722770cf135ebb5c82a4873a70a983f--happy-

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My issue with THE GRADUATE is that I don't find anything likeable about the Benjamin character at all. He just seems like a spoiled punk to me, and Elaine is way too good of a person to want anything to do with him.

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9 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

My issue with THE GRADUATE is that I don't find anything likeable about the Benjamin character at all. He just seems like a spoiled punk to me, and Elaine is way too good of a person to want anything to do with him.

He's even more insufferable in the book. (My comments on the book here: 

)

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I enjoy the comedic elements, courtesy of Buck Henry, who couldn't resist participating in one himself. "Are you here for an affair sir?" 

Then Norman Fell's scene. "You're not one those agitators, are you?" 

Then, "Plastics."

Not comedic but historically significant is The Ambassador Hotel, where RFK was murdered a couple of years later.

And the soundtrack is like a pivotal character, like Greek chorus. Mike Nichols was not planning to use it, but he was listening to the record while he was editing and could sense how well it fit. 

It's completely baked.

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